Monday, March 20, 2017

Four years later: better at math

Three years after I wrote a post on being "bad" at math, I've improved considerably.

Calc III (multivariate calculus) was traumatic and a bit of a slog. I wasn't yet very good with algebra, and I have a hard time visualizing three dimensional space. But I did take a few more math classes after that, and graduated with a minor in math. More importantly, I started working as a math tutor and later as a math instructor, which improved my algebra enormously. I snuck the "discipline" in by way of my interest in teaching.

Indeed, my ability has increased and my interest has been restored sufficiently that I started a Master's in Applied Mathematics (along with the Economics Master's) last fall. (I have an interesting opportunity for a full time teaching position, so in the fall, I'm going to switch back to just the Econ Master's and do the Math Master's later.)

My view of math hasn't changed that much. It's just a way of constructing and examining certain kinds of patterns in certain kinds of ways. Many of those patterns are easily translatable to the real world; others are surprisingly applicable to the real world, and others seem (at present) to have no possible application to the real world. I'm just getting better at seeing the patterns.